MAYVILLE, NY (WNY News Now) – A permanent gag order has been issued in the trial prosecuting the alleged attacker of world renowned author Salman Rushdie.
On Wednesday, Chautauqua County Court Judge David Foley extended an initial order which was filed by the attorney representing Hadi Matar.
Last week, the 24-year-old was formally indicated by a Chautauqua County Grand Jury on second-degree attempted murder and second-degree assault, both felonies, in connection with the August 12 attack.
His counsel, Chautauqua County Public Defender Ned Barone, told WNY News Now following the hearing that without the restriction in place, he feared for his client’s ability to receive a fair trial.
Citing international publicity, the order will restrict parties involved, such as witnesses, law enforcement and legal aids, from discussing specific evidence and other related documents of the case.
The order however, Barone stressed, would not prevent media coverage of future proceedings, and/or, related interviews with journalists to discuss what occurs within the courtroom.
The public defender previously said “several hundred phone calls” have been placed to Matar while in custody. One of the calls ultimately went through, with the accused speaking to the New York Post, in which Matar talked about disliking Rushdie and praised Iran’s late supreme leader.
The New Jersey resident currently sits in Chautauqua County Jail without bail.